QLD: Strong winds cause further havoc
SE QLD experienced further strong to gale force winds today, causing fresh power blackouts but little significant damage. Wind died down after the passage of last night's trough, but reintensified during the morning as a low pressure system wound up off the NSW Mid North Coast. Top wind gusts included 87km/h at Brisbane Airport about 7am and 85 at Gatton about 10am. Press and ABC Radio reports indicated over 100,000 consumers had lost power at some stage last night or today. The SES reported about 50 callouts, mostly to deal with tree and powerline damage and wind-blown debris on roads. The Port of Brisbane was closed for part of the day, while flights were delayed into and out of Brisbane Airport. Toowoomba's Festival of Flowers parade was cancelled for the first time in its 56-year history when floats were blown apart and public safety endangered; wind at the airport gusted to 76km/h around 9am.
WA: Strong cold front brings damaging winds, suspected tornado
An active cold front passed through Perth around 4am and brought storm force wind gusts across the South West, South Coast and Goldfields. Top gusts were 104km/h at Busselton Jetty at 2.25am, 111 at Mandurah at 3.35am and 106 at Bickley at 4.27am. Manjimup recorded 91km/h, Esperance 96 and Norseman 93. Brief heavy rain accompanied the change, with many locations from Perth south to the South Coast recording 10 to 20mm in the 3 hours to 6am.
Wind damage was reported in the northern suburbs of Subiaco, Kingsley, Padbury and Duncraig and the southern suburbs of Rockingham and Mandurah. The SES recorded over 100 callouts, and Western Power said over 1,000 homes lost power when high voltage lines were brought down near Bickley. A suspected tornado caused major damage to homes at City Beach, 10km W of the CBD. The roof of one house was blown into the swimming pool of a neighboring house, while a nearby home had windows both imploded and exploded. Damage reported in nearby streets included trees uprooted, a roof torn from a home under renovation, a metal pergola blown apart, and several cars and walls blown over.
In the South West at Cowaramup, 30km SW of Busselton, the roof was blown off a classroom at the Primary School, trees were blown onto two cars, and there were many reports of minor damage to windows, roofs and trees.
NSW: Winter's last hurrah?
Wintry weather -- possibly the last for the season -- spread across NSW today bringing strong winds and light snowfalls up the Divide. During the afternoon, wind gusted to 100km/h at Bellambi and 91km/h at Wollongong Airport and Mt Boyce in the Blue Mountains. Light snow fell during the morning at Oberon and Yetholme on the Central Tablelands, while on the Northern Tablelands snow settled at Ben Lomond and fell at Guyra. Parts of Tenterfield lost power when wind-borne debris broke a power pole conductor in the main street, knocking out 22 substations.